By George Willoughby
Cardiff host Burnley in what is shaping up to be a very important encounter.
Currently sitting in 19th place, The Bluebirds’ inability to find the back of the net is becoming an increasingly worrying concern. Three goals scored and the joint highest conceded (14), Cardiff have an early mountain to climb if they are to avoid relegation.
Three of Cardiff’s defeats have come against high quality opposition in Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal. However, draws to Huddersfield and Newcastle left fans wondering when win number one will finally arrive. Even more frustrating is that in those two draws, the opposition teams were reduced to ten men, yet Cardiff failed to capitalise.
It’s fair to say that the return to the Premier League for Cardiff hasn’t quite gone according to plan. With no wins after six games, the general pre-season consensus of a relegation battle is seemingly coming true. But, it’s a long season and victory on Sunday would be the perfect way to kick-start what has been a frustrating campaign.
Warnock will have plenty of decisions to make ahead of Sunday’s clash with the fitness of Josh Murphy, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Aron Gunnarsson all doubtful.
Cardiff will be looking to end their losing streak with a positive result at the weekend – a win could elevate the Bluebirds out of the drop zone.
Last season, a memorable 7th placed finish for Sean Dyche’s men saw Europa League football return to Turf Moor after a 51-year wait.
Despite last season’s success, The Clarets have struggled to replicate their previous form. After failing to record a victory in their opening five games, Burnley finally put three points on the board with an impressive 4-0 home win over a Bournemouth side that had started their 2018/19 campaign in impressive fashion.
Previous to last weekend’s win, Burnley have suffered four straight defeats. One of the most surprising aspects to Burnley’s struggles has been their lapse home form. Turf Moor has become a notoriously difficult place to win for away sides, but both Watford and Manchester United came out victorious in Lancashire.
In terms of the history between the two clubs, the overall record is extremely tight. The Bluebirds just edge it with a total of 29 wins, with Burnley coming out on top on 28 occasions. There have also been 26 draws.
Based on recent history, Cardiff will be expecting a positive result. Out of the last 14 meetings – home and away – Cardiff have avoided defeat on every occasion.
Gair Rhydd’s Prediction
Sunday’s match should be a close affair with both teams needing a win.
We’re going for a closely contested 1-1 draw with goals from Bobby Reid and Matej Vydra for the visitors.